Weekly Highlight: 11.12.2007

Denmark: may be we know why they are happy…?

Denmark tops in anti-depressant use

A new study puts Danes’ use of anti-depressants at the top of other wealthy countries. With an increase from 35 to 60 daily doses of anti-depressants per 1000 adults from 2000 to 2005, Denmark leapt ahead of the members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Iceland came in second with 24 daily doses, followed by Australia and Sweden with 21 and 18 daily doses respectively.
Experts such as Claus Møldrup, an assistant professor at the Pharmaceutical Faculty at the University of Copenhagen, suggest doctors might be too generous with prescriptions.
He and other experts pointed out that psychological disorders were prevalent in Denmark and that the rise could stem from Danes lacking the proper treatment in the past.
The dark winter months in northern Europe may also explain the presence of three Nordic countries at the top of the list, Møldrup said.


Winter Darkness Depresses Many
Published 09.12.2007, 19.17

In an article in the Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet, National Public Health Institute Researcher Timo Partonen said that 40 percent of over 30-year olds suffer from symptoms such as fatigue and a craving for sweets during the winter.
Typical darkness-related depression afflicts just under one percent of over-thirties.
According to Partonen, use of bright lamps can help alleviate the symptoms, in 80 percent of cases.
The lamps should be used for a half hour each morning to help bring relief to persons who struggle during the winter.


Dutch drink less coffee
Monday 10 December 2007

Dutch coffee consumtion has dropped by 13% to 3.2 cups per person per day over the past 10 years, says national statistics office CBS.
Sales of coffee have stabilised since 2003 and it remains the number one drink of choice. Tea comes second, followed by soft drinks, beer, mineral water and wine.
The Scandinavians are the world’s biggest coffee consumers at 4.3 cups per person per day.

Norway: after they have ranked bad in PISA 2006, now this?

Higher education unnecessary
First published: 10 Dec 2007, 10:03

Four out of ten men aged 18-22 believe that higher education is either unimportant or a so-so factor in landing a desired job. Only 27 percent of young women believe that further education is not a vital factor, according to a survey by Respons.
The study was carried out for Unio, The Confederation of Unions for Professionals, Norway.
Folkestad believes that the reason is high self-confidence, and director Per Hetland at NIFU STEP, the Norwegian research institute for studies in innovation, research, and education.
“There will be a need for a large group of employees in the service and manual trades; these are jobs that can be had without higher education. If the boys will be satisfied with this type of job remains to be seen. There can be a disparity between expectations and real job opportunities,” Hetland said.
Hetland believes the study confirms the trend of more girls than boys choosing to continue their post-high school studies.

Sweden: I don’t think this is a sexist talk, right?

‘The y-chromosome is the biggest threat to humanity’
Published: 10 Dec 07 12:02 CET

Oliver Smithies is one of three winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine, along with Sir Martin J. Evans and Mario R. Capecchi. They have been given the prize “for their discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells.”

You made it pretty clear in a press conference what you think is posing the biggest threat to human kind. What is that?
The y-chromosome. Some boys are more aggressive. We associate war and violence with that. I believe we need to teach our boys not to solve their problems by fighting.

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